astrolabe was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of astrolabe from the Web
Without magnetic compasses or tools like astrolabes, the Vikings likely relied on primitive solar compasses to navigate, which uses the position of the sun to determine north.
By aligning an astrolabe perpendicular to the horizon, ancient astronomers could calculate measurements like time and position.
Accurate instruments, such as the astrolabe, allowed people to measure the motion of the planets and thus predict movements in the heavens, particularly phenomena like solar and lunar eclipses and the motions of planets like Venus.
Mariner’s astrolabes came into use much later, during the late 15th century.
Astrolabes used by early sea explorers are frequently referred to as mariner's astrolabes.
Three astrolabes, devices used for navigation, should be flown to Portugal for restoration and research, Noli said.
This idea really picked up steam in the season six finale, when Sam arrived at the Citadel to begin his maester training and encountered an astrolabe that looks a lot like the one in the opening credits of the show.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astrolabe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The astrolabe and the Stars
"Thyn Astrolabie hath a ring to putten on the thombe of thi right hond in taking the height of thinges." Thus begins a description of the astrolabe in A Treatise on the Astrolabe, a medieval user's guide penned by an amateur astronomer by the name of Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer is best known for his Middle English poetic masterpiece The Canterbury Tales, but when his nose wasn't buried in his writing, Chaucer was stargazing, and some of his passion for the heavens rubbed off on his son Lewis, who had displayed a special "abilite to lerne sciences touching nombres and proporciouns." Chaucer dedicated his treatise to the 10-year-old boy, setting his instructions not in the usual Latin, but in "naked wordes in Englissh" so that little Lewis could understand. When he got older, Lewis may have learned that the word astrolabe traces to the Greek name for the instrument.
Origin and Etymology of astrolabe
Learn More about astrolabe
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about astrolabe
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